On Nov.8, a Ukrainian court found Volodymyr Saldo guilty of high treason. Saldo was the Moscow-appointed head of the military-civil administration of the Russian-occupied Kherson region.

From 2002 to 2012, Saldo had held the position of Mayor of Kherson.

In 2012, he was elected to parliament as people’s deputy for the pro-Russian Party of Regions. After the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, his political career went into decline due to his association with the ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

After the start of a full-scale invasion in February 2022, Saldo began openly collaborating with Russian occupation authorities.

On April 26, 2022, Russian occupation forces appointed Saldo as governor of the temporarily occupied Kherson region. Since then he and his circle have been the target of repeated assassination attempts.

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The Malynovsky District Court of Odesa’s official website reported: “On Nov. 8, 2023, the court passed a verdict, which found guilty Saldo Volodymyr Vasylovych, former head of the occupation ‘military-civil administration of the Kherson region,’ now ‘governor of the Kherson region’ (under Russian occupation).”

The trial took place in special court proceedings in absentia.

Saldo’s lawyer, who was present, asked for an acquittal against the accused.

However, after evaluating the evidence submitted by the parties to the criminal proceedings, the court concluded that the Ukrainian citizen was guilty of committing a criminal offense. 

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Among the violated articles of the Criminal Code are: high treason under martial law; collaboration; justification, denial or recognition as legitimate the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine; or glorification of its participants.

The court sentenced Saldo to 15 years in prison with confiscation of property, during which he will be deprived of the right to hold positions related to organizational, administrative and economic powers.

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However, the verdict has not entered into legal force and can be appealed in accordance with the procedure established by law.

Already on Aug. 25, Ukraine’s Economy Ministry had announced that the main assets of Saldo, his ex-wife and daughter were to be seized by the state.

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